1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Is the future of HomeTheater a one-box solution?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by AndersR, May 23, 2003.

  1. AndersR

    AndersR
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    There are many reasons for wanting a combined dvd-receiver:

    1. You only need one surround decoder, not two.

    2. If a new reciever use digital domain amplification, like the new sony models, you dont need an expensive dac in the dvd player, the one used in the amplifier is enough.

    3. The next big thing is the i-link, but it is only found in expensive top of the range models, because the signal needs to be encrypted - which is probably expensive. If the dvdplayer and reciever were integrated you could eliminate this problem., because you dont need a direct digital output.

    4. you could also eliminate tons of input/outputs on the backside, we only really need digital output for picture, as well as a couple of analog inputs - not forgetting the speaker outputs.

    5. maybe throw in a dab tuner to make it an all digital system.

    I am not talking about the existing Home-Theater-in-a-Box solutions, but the future of high-end home theater.


    Of course there are also disadvantages, like for example space
    problems, but to counter this, you could just have an external power supply.

    I think that the combined dvd-reciever solution could save us a lot of money, what is your opinion?
     
  2. hornydragon

    hornydragon
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    28,293
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Somewhere near the M4 most of the time......
    Ratings:
    +1,215
    Hmm i think the history of high end audio shows that seperation not integration is the key!
    i could save money but then we start the whole upgrade loop again. I thn
    ink the tag system of modular upgrades is the way to go!
     
  3. sounddog

    sounddog
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    3,373
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    107
    Location:
    Leicestershire, UK
    Ratings:
    +461
    At which point, with all due respect, it STOPS being a Home-Theatre-In-A-Box

    I think we're going to see contined divergence. Maybe with a shrinking of the separates market. At the moment companies are realsing AV Amps at £300, £400, £600, £800, £1000 and £2000 price points ... and the benifits of the £400 model aren't obvious over the £300 model and so on - I can't see this continuing for ever and expect that companies are likely to replace their ranges with few models at higher price intervals.

    And yes ... having a HTiB is going to save money initially ... but the whole fun of AV as a hobby (rather than watching movies I mean) is that you can mix and match to find the best combination. Also you say about not having 2 lots of DACs ... how many people here with High End systems currently have a separate CD player as they find the Analogue out (post-DAC) from that is preferable to the internal DAC of their AV amp.

    Just another £9.98 ... keep the change

    Vikki
     
  4. Ian Cox

    Ian Cox
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    The future of home cinema for the mass market is a one box solution. The mass market just want to go to Dixon's or Argos (these are British retail outlets) and buy a system that costs £200 has all the cables and instructions and is easy to setup. This is exactly how Hi-Fi has gone and there is no reason for home cinema not to go the same way.

    But the separates market will still exist as there are many of us who want the best sound which is only possible through separates and it is a hobby which many of us enjoy. The separates market is also important to the industry as this is where the innovation happens and these innovations eventually filter down to the mass market products which improves them.

    I think home cinema with follow the exact same model as Hi-Fi, the real enthusiasts will go the separates route for sound quality but around 80% or people will go for the one box solution as this is adequate for their needs.
     
  5. sounddog

    sounddog
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    3,373
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    107
    Location:
    Leicestershire, UK
    Ratings:
    +461
    Ian .. in not sure is the "£200 in a box solution" is how HiFi has gone ... I think in many ways it always has been like this.

    In the 80's, the high end enthusiast had a Linn deck and Naim amplification, the middle ground people had a Dual or a Sony/Technics/etc deck and amps, the casual listner had a Amstrad music centre and the people who wanted background music only had a radio cassette player.

    It's not much different now ... we have the high end enthusiat with their separate pre/pro and power amps, the middle ground with integrated reciever and then the casual watcher has the HTiBs ... the thing being now that they have a very wide range from a very basic HTiB for £200 from their local supermarket / Argos / Currys / Comet, or the higher end Sony DAV, Teac, Denon, Pioneer etc HTiB systems that are very similar quality to low to middle range separates systems.

    And maybe some of those that start off with a HTiB will just maybe get to hear a high end system and start off on the upgrade trail.

    Vikki

    Edit ... oops ... re-reading Ian's post I think he already said it was the same as HiFi is/was in that respect. :blush:
     
  6. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Not a chance.

    For example, a poweramp if a pretty bog standard item. Having several 2,3 or 5 channel poweramps will not be made obsolete (unless you go into active speakers of course)

    You could buy a very high quality no of poweramps...these will never be made out of date, and can be kept over several speakers/source upgrades.

    Same for speakers. If you buy high quality speakers, M&K, Kef Ref, B&W Naut. etc... unless you're willing to spend even more then it's pretty much pointless.

    The only thing that gets outdated are video sources & processors, but again LD lasted a while, even a VHS is still handing on.. DVD will be updated with newer types (HD-DVD, blue-ray etc) but a basic AV Amp or processor that will be released in the future will still be used with a old DVD player for basic DD/DTS processing. Unless Dolby Digital & DTS gets phased out completely and replaced with a new incompatible format then even a couple of older processors will still work fine (Denon AVD-2000, Rotel 966, HK 303)

    Not forgetting if one item breaks (ie DVD laser pickup) then you've got a worthless system. Try selling off a DAV unit off with a broken laser... you won't sell it.
     
  7. NicolasB

    NicolasB
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    6,036
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Emily's Shop
    Ratings:
    +660
    I'd like to see a ten-box system. :) So the whole chain goes:

    Code:
    Pure DVD transport
         |
         V                      
    Digital Processor
         |
         V                      
    Audio DACs
         |
         V                      
    Pre-Amplifier
         |
         V                      
    Power Amplifier
         |
         V                      
    Speakers
    And at the same time the video side of things should be:

    Code:
    Pure Transport
         |
         V                      
    Video Decoder
         |
         V                      
    Digital Deinterlacer
         |
         V                      
    Digital Scaler
         |
         V                      
    (optional video DACs for legacy displays)
         |
         V                      
    Display
     
  8. AndersR

    AndersR
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I think that maybe we might have to rethink the whole situation.
    As digital amplifiers becomes more common, you can save a lot of space, and why not build in a dvd player into the reciever. Imagine a yamaha rx-v640dvd! - everything inside would be perfectly matched and you would only need to add some speakers. Of course there are some drawbacks, but as I said in the beginning, there are also a lot of benefits.
    You would have a system that could easily outperform a cheap sony dav.
    for example take a look at the hifi: linn classik - combining cd, amp and tuner into one box. It as been well reviewed and it is supposed to be good value for money. It is exactly this kind of concept that I like, apart from that it is only stereo not surround.

    Some people think that it's fun to try to find the best matched components, cables, and so on.. , and I agree that it is certainly an enjoyable quest. But a quest never ends, and why not buy the perfectly integrated system from the beginning - maybe you dont like it, but at least the company has done the best for the money, and you could just chose another model.

    Maybe a ten-box -keep it all seperate- solution is the best, but keep in mind that you would need just as many interconnects, and I think it is safe to argue that there is allways some sort of signal degradation.

    ok, so when we get around to dts8.1 you need to replace everything, but my point is that these all in one solutions would become cheaper making it more acceptable.

    As a matter of fact we are all ready seeing these one-box systems from sony, but they still focus on seperates.
     
  9. NicolasB

    NicolasB
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    6,036
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Emily's Shop
    Ratings:
    +660
    Doing everything in one box would be a good thing to do if it were the case that:

    a) You could rely on one company to make all stages of their product of equally good quality, and equally good value.

    b) It were impossible for two components to work well together unless they were specifically designed to do so.

    Unfortunately, neither of these is generally the case. A one-box setup means you have no choice about anything. If it so happens that the DVD player and processor sections are rather good, but that the amplification stage stinks, that's just tough. But if all three are in separate boxes you can pick the good parts and forget about the bad parts.

    It's also far more flexible for upgrades, of course: you can upgrade one section of the system, and sell off the old part second hand.

    People make a lot of fuss about system "synergy" - components matching each other well. This certainly is a very significant issue, but the way some people talk about it, you'd think it was magic. It isn't, it's simply that different components have different demands. A certain amplifier may produce a very good sound when only required to generate a small current, but have rather a tendency to clip at high currents. That might mean that it sounds very good with speakers whose impedance remains high across the frequency spectrum, but goes a bit wonky when you hook it up to something like B&W Nautilus speakers whose impedance drops as low as 3.0 ohms.

    Anyway, amplifier current output issues are of only peripheral importance to this discussion; what does matter is that it isn't magic, and that there is no reason why two components made by the same manufacturer should necessarily work better with each other than two components from different manufacturers. So a one-box solution doesn't help.

    One advantage that you can get with getting everything from one manufacturer is that they can do interesting proprietary things that there is not currently an industry standard for. (Meridian's MHR Smartlink, for example). But rather than producing one-box kits, the better approach would be for the industry to get its act together about standards!

    There is one final advantage you could get from an all-in-one system, which is that occasionally you could leave out components altogether if you don't have to worry about external compatibility. For example, I would love to see a pure-digital version of the Meridian 568.2 which has no DACs, and a similar 598 player. You could then hook up a player, processor, and Meridian Digital speakers and all of the DAC and pre-amps outside the speakers could simply dissappear, which might be quite a significant saving.

    But even in that case, you'd really want to separate out the DACs, amplification and speakers. :)

    Actually I've just realised that my proposed multi-box system above still doesn't have enough boxes. It should allow active bi- or tri-amping and look like this:

    Code:
    Pure DVD transport
         |
         V                      
    Digital Processor
         |
         V                      
    Audio DACs
         |
         V                      
    Pre-Amplifier
         |
         V               
    Speaker External Cross-Over
         |
         V  
    Power Amplifiers
         |
         V                      
    Speakers
    
    Or perhaps one could come up with a nice way of doing the cross-over digitally after the processing stage but before the DACs...?
     
  10. sounddog

    sounddog
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    3,373
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    107
    Location:
    Leicestershire, UK
    Ratings:
    +461
    I believe you can get a Meridian 800 configured like this - except a single box with the DVD player and DD/DTS/DVD-A decoding, then with only digital outputs for their digital active speakers.

    Vikki
     
  11. NicolasB

    NicolasB
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    6,036
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Emily's Shop
    Ratings:
    +660
    It's possible that the Meridian 800 does this properly, I'm not sure, but it may not.... I did check out a similar possibility with the 596 and 598 players. These have on-board decoding of DD and DTS to digital outputs, so you would have thought that they could be connected directly to Meridian digital speakers; but actually this doesn't work very well because the player isn't capable either of doing channel delays or of doing bass management. So you'd need to have five full-range speakers and the sub all exactly the same distance from you. :)

    You can, however, get very good results using a Meridian player and digital speakers and nothing else if you're only looking for a stereo system. The 800 player plus a pair of DSP8000s would set you back close to £37,000 but it'd probably sound quite good. :)

    (That's actually one of the high-end "recommended systems" on the Graham's Hifi website).

    Meridian maintain that you aren't wasting the player's decoding abilities if you use a processor with it, because having the player do the decoding means that the processor has enough CPU time left to up-sample all the signals to 96 kHz. I'm not sure how much difference this makes in practice.
     
  12. AndersR

    AndersR
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    you are all talking about very expensive stuff - what really annoys me is that you can only get features like i-link in the most expensive models, when you would think that a direct digital connection (eliminating the need for the dac in the dvd player) would be less costly.
    Its not very satisfying to hear that the reason that it is expensive is because they need to build in an encryption system to avoid piracy.

    My simple solution to this problem is to build it all inside one box, so people cant get the digital signal for copying.

    a typical reciever costs around maybe 300£ and a dvd player less than 200£ (i can't afford the expensive stuff), but if it was all integrated you could reduce the price, since:

    1. you only need one box - maybe a little bigger though

    2. you only need one surround decoder

    3. one power supply (maybe not ideal)

    4. you avoid multiple dacs

    5. you avoid the cost of a billion in/outputs on the backend.


    I don't disagree with anything that you have said, but if you could buy a complete system for maybe 350-400£ instead of 200+300£ would'nt it be great - assuming the same quality in performance, which I think is possible.
     
  13. Fjorko

    Fjorko
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Messages:
    510
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Port Elizabeth
    Ratings:
    +24
    My 2p

    I feel you can never get the sound quality in an ALL-IN-ONE sollution than what you can get from seperates or even PRE/Power in one i.e. a receiver of home cinema AMP

    There is just to much of a difference


    Fair enough if you're not INTO Home cinema, but just want a system that will do surround sound....

    But most people in this forum i think has the idea in mind to re-create the Multiplex Cinema experience in their own homes as closely and acurately as possible...and no all in one solution can ever simulate that . . . .. . . :nono:


    Cheers
     

Share This Page

Loading...